Stonewall fully supports IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia) on Monday 17 May - a landmark 20 years to the day that the World Health Organisation took the groundbreaking decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
Laura Doughty, Stonewall’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: ‘To many people Britain now seems like a very accepting country for lesbian, gay and bisexual people but scratch the surface and it becomes sadly apparent that homophobia is still very much alive. For Stonewall every day is a day against homophobia – and we’ll continue to campaign against it where it exists – at home, at school and at work.’
Stonewall’s campaigning against homophobia focuses on three main areas:
One in five lesbian and gay people have experienced a homophobic hate crime or incident in the last three years.
But three in four did not report them to the police – often because they did not think the police would or could do anything about it. (Source: YouGov for Stonewall)
Laura Doughty said: ‘Right now, the trial into the homophobic-hate attack that led to the death of Ian Baynham is considering its final judgement. The perpetrators are accused of screaming homophobic abuse as they kicked Ian to death in the middle of Trafalgar Square on a busy Saturday night. They were educated in Britain’s school system very recently. A chilling indication that homophobia needs to be tackled early on at school, to prevent it festering into violence on our streets.’
Stonewall continues to work with the police, the criminal justice system and lesbian and gay people themselves to ensure homophobic hate crime and incidents are reported with more confidence and taken seriously by every member of the police force.
Nine in ten teachers say their pupils, regardless of their sexual orientation, currently experience homophobic bullying in their schools.
But nine in ten teachers have never received any training on how to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying. (Source: YouGov for Stonewall)
Laura Doughty said: ‘Both parties in the new coalition government have made promises to take further steps to tackle homophobic bullying in schools. Stonewall will continue to lobby ministers, as we have done for the past 21 years, to ensure this remains a firm priority on the political agenda.’
Stonewall recently sent its anti-homophobia feature film, FIT, on an innovative interactive DVD to every single secondary school in Britain. We continue to promote it as an invaluable resource to tackle homophobic bullying.’
Nearly one in five lesbian and gay people have experienced homophobic bullying in the workplace during the last three years. (Source: YouGov for Stonewall)
Laura Doughty said: ‘Stonewall has proven that people perform better when they can be themselves. But across the board – from footballers to top civil servants – we know people still don’t feel able to come out at work. This will only change when all employers create an inclusive and supportive environment that enables their staff to flourish.’
Stonewall works with employers to promote equality and tackle homophobia at work. Nearly 600 employers have joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme and hundreds of employers take part in the free Workplace Equality Index to identify Britain’s most gay-friendly employers every year.
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